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Part IV - The State, Punishment and Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 March 2020

Robert Antony
Guangzhou University
Stuart Carroll
University of York
Caroline Dodds Pennock
University of Sheffield
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Print publication year: 2020

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Bibliographic Essay

Building on the excellent critical editions and studies by Russian scholars are recent translations of the most important early modern Russian law codes: Kaiser, Daniel H. (trans. and ed.), The Laws of Rus’ – Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries (Salt Lake City, UT: Charles Schlacks Jr, 1992); Dewey, Horace W. (comp., ed. and trans.), Muscovite Judicial Texts, 1488–1556, Michigan Slavic Materials 7 (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, 1966); Hellie, Richard (trans. and ed.), The Muscovite Law Code (Ulozhenie) of 1649. Part 1: Text and Translation (Irvine, CA Charles Schlacks Jr, 1988).

Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Russian law is well served in English-language literature, and these articles are representative of the leading authors’ work: Dewey, Horace W., ‘The 1550 Sudebnik as an Instrument of Reform’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 10.2 (1962), 161–80; Kleimola, Ann M., Justice in Medieval Russia: Muscovite Judgment Charters (pravye gramoty) of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1975); Hellie, Richard, ‘Early Modern Russian Law: The Ulozhenie of 1649’, Russian History 15.2–4 (1988), 155–80; Kaiser, Daniel H., The Growth of the Law in Medieval Russia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980); Weickhardt, George G., ‘Due Process and Equal Justice in the Muscovite Codes’, Russian Review 51.4 (1992), 463–80.

For the eighteenth century, Anisimov, Evgenii accents state violence in, for example, Dyba i knut. Politicheskii sysk i russkoe obshchestvo v XVIII veke (Rack and Knout. Political Trials and Russian Society in the Eighteenth Century) (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 1999); and Shrader, Abby explores the elimination of corporal punishment in Languages of the Lash: Corporal Punishment and Identity in Imperial Russia (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2002).

Studies based on case law through the seventeenth century include Kollmann, Nancy S. on litigations over honour in By Honor Bound. State and Society in Early Modern Russia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999) and on the criminal law in Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Kivelson, Valerie A. explores witchcraft prosecutions and the role of torture in Desperate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Russia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013). Local government is explored in Davies, Brian L., State Power and Community in Early Modern Russia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Glaz’ev, V. N., Vlast’ i obshchestvo na iuge Rossii v XVII veke: Protivodeistvie ugolovnoi prestupnosti (Power and Society in Southern Russia in the Seventeenth Century. Fighting Felony Crime) (Voronezh: Izd. Voronezhskogo gosud. universiteta, 2001).

For the eighteenth century, Golikova, N. B. explores political trials in Politicheskie protsessy pri Petre I: po materialam Preobrazhenskogo prikaza (Political Trials under Peter I: Based on the Materials of the Preobrazhenskii Chancery) (Moscow: Izd. Moskovskogo universiteta, 1957). Prosecutions of witchcraft and other spiritual crimes are the focus of Smilianskaia, Elena, Volshebniki. Bogokhul’niki. Eretiki (Magicians. Blasphemers. Heretics) (Moscow: Izd. Indrik, 2003) and Lavrov, A. S., Koldovstvo i religiiia v Rossii. 1700–1740 gg. (Witchcraft and Religion in Russia 1700–1740) (Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2000). Schmidt, Christoph explores crime in Moscow in Sozialkontrolle in Moskau: Justiz, Kriminalität und Leibeigenschaft, 1649–1785 (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1996), while Gentes, Andrew A. examines the exile system in Exile to Siberia, 1590–1822 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Hoch, Steven L. shows how peasant communes practised a tyranny of the old men over women and young men in Serfdom and Social Control in Russia. Petrovskoe, A Village in Tambov (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).

The bureaucracy, so crucial to the functioning of the judicial system, is the focus of important studies. Representative of Brown, Peter B.’s many articles is ‘Neither Fish nor Fowl: Administrative Legality in Mid- and Late-Seventeenth-Century Russia’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 50 (2002), 121, while Plavsic, Borivoj describes training and career paths in ‘Seventeenth-Century Chanceries and Their Staffs’, in Pintner, Walter M. and Karl Rowney, Don (eds.), Russian Officialdom: The Bureaucratization of Russian Society from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980), pp. 1945. Troitskii, S. M. pioneered the collective prosopography of bureaucrats in Russkii absoliutizm i dvorianstvo v XVIII v. Formirovanie biurokratii (Russian Absolutism and Nobility in the Eighteenth Century. The Formation of the Bureaucracy) (Moscow: Nauka, 1974); Demidova, N. F. applied this approach to the earlier period in Sluzhilaia biurokratiia v Rossii XVII v. i ee rol’ v formirovanii absoliutizma (The Serving Bureaucracy in Russia in the Seventeenth Century and its Role in the Formation of Absolutism) (Moscow: Nauka, 1987). Pisar’kova, L. F., Gosudarstvennoe upravlenie Rossii s kontsa XVII do kontsa XVIII veka. Evoliutsiia biurokraticheskoi sistemy (State Administration in Russia from the End of the Seventeenth to the End of the Eighteenth Century. The Evolution of the Bureaucratic System) (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2007) expands their findings.

Some American scholars have construed Russia as a despotism or emphasised the brutality of public life: see Michels, Georg, ‘The Violent Old Belief: An Examination of Religious Dissent on the Karelian Frontier’, Russian History 19.1–4 (1992), 203–30; Poe, Marshall, A People Born to Slavery’: Russia in Early Modern European Ethnography, 1476–1748 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000). Others argue that court politics was based on ‘consensus’ between ruler and the great clans and that overall governance followed a ‘politics of difference’: see Keenan, Edward L., ‘Muscovite Political Folkways’, Russian Review 45.2 (1986), 115–81; Kivelson, Valerie A., ‘The Devil Stole His Mind: The Tsar and the 1648 Moscow Uprising’, American Historical Review 98.3 (1993), 733–56; Kollmann, Nancy S., Kinship and Politics: The Making of the Muscovite Political System, 1345–1547 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987) and her The Russian Empire 1450–1801 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

On eighteenth-century moral philosophy and political views, see Wirtschafter, Elise Kimmerling, Religion and Enlightenment in Catherinian Russia: The Teachings of Metropolitan Platon (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2013) and Whittaker, Cynthia H., Russian Monarchy: Eighteenth-Century Rulers and Writers in Political Dialogue (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2003). Le Donne, John’s in-depth studies of Catherine II’s administrative and judicial reforms include Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700–1825 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991).

Bibliographic Essay

The best place to start on Chinese legal history is MacCormack, Geoffrey’s The Spirit of Traditional Chinese Law (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996), which should be read along with his Traditional Chinese Penal Law (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2013). To understand the ‘legislative turn’ in Qing governance see, Qin, Zheng, Guangyan, Zhou, trans., ‘Pursuing Perfection: Formation of the Qing Code’, Modern China 21.3 (1995), 310–44. Essential for understanding crime and punishment is Bourgon, Jerome, ‘The Principle of Legality and Legal Rules in the Chinese Legal Tradition’, in Delmas-Marty, Mirelle, Will, Pierre-Etienne and Norberg, Naomi (eds.), China, Democracy, and Law: A Historical and Contemporary Approach (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 169–88. On specific punishments see Meijer, Marinus, ‘The Autumn Assizes in Ch’ing Law’, Toung Pao 70 (1984), 117; Waley-Cohen, Joanna, Exile in Mid-Qing China: Banishment to Xinjiang 1758–1820 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991); and Brook, Timothy, Bourgon, Jerome and Blue, Gregory, Death by a Thousand Cuts (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008). For social and economic changes in eighteenth-century China see Myers, Ramon and Wang, Yeh-chien, ‘Economic Developments, 1644–1800’, and William Rowe, ‘Social Stability and Social Change’, both in Peterson, Willard J. (ed.), The Cambridge History of China, vol. ix, The Chi’ing Dynasty to 1800, part 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 563646 and 473562 respectively.

An early study examining law and violent crime is Meijer, Marinus J., Murder and Adultery in Late imperial China: A Study of Law and Morality (Leiden: Brill, 1991). For an excellent case study of the politics of criminal justice and pioneering use of archival sources see Kuhn, Philip, Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). For studies based on homicide case records see Buoye, Thomas, Manslaughter, Markets, and Moral Economy: Violent Disputes over Property Rights in Eighteenth-Century China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), Theiss, Janet Disgraceful Matters: The Politics of Chastity in Eighteenth-Century China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), J. Neighbors, A Question of Intent: Homicide Law and Criminal Justice in Qing and Republican China (Leiden: Brill, 2018), and Sommer, Matthew, Sex, Law, and Society in Late Imperial China (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000). On the issue of ‘bare sticks’ see Buoye, Thomas, ‘Bare Sticks and Naked Pity: Rhetoric and Representation in Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) Capital Case Records’, Crime, History and Societies 18.2 (2014), 2747. For translations of capital crime records see Hegel, Robert, True Crimes in Eighteenth-Century China: Twenty Case Histories (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009).

The first effort to statistically analyse homicide based on the archival resources is Chen, Zhiwu, Peng, Kaixiang and Zhu, Lijun, ‘Social-Economic Change and its Impact on Violence: Homicide History of Qing China’, Explorations in Economic History 63 (2017), 825. Finally, an invaluable website for Qing law is Legalising Space in China,, the nexus of an ongoing project to translate the substatutes of the Qing Code, which has hundreds of historical works on Qing law, documents and other resources.

Bibliographic Essay

The definitive history of homicide in America is Roth, Randolph, American Homicide (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). An earlier and briefer treatment of homicide is Lane, Roger, Murder in America: A History (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1997). Very few histories contain statistical data on violence and other crimes in early America. Roth is exceptional for his systematic data. All the statistics on homicide rates in this chapter, except for those for Pennsylvania, are from Roth. The second exceptional history for supplying quantitative data on homicide as well as all other crimes is Marietta, Jack D. and Rowe, G. S., Troubled Experiment: Crime and Justice in Pennsylvania, 1682–1800 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006). Spindel, Donna J., Crime and Society in North Carolina, 1663–1776 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989) also contains useful statistics.

Most histories of crime and justice limit themselves to particular colonies, states or regions of Anglo-America. For Virginia and the Chesapeake region see Morgan, Edmund S., American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975); Hart, Freeman H., The Valley of Virginia in the American Revolution, 1763–1789 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1942); Morgan, Gwenda, The Hegemony of the Law: Richmond County, Virginia, 1692–1776 (New York: Garland, 1989); Roeber, A. G., Faithful Magistrates and Republican Lawyers: Creators of Virginia Legal Culture, 1680–1810 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981); and Schwarz, Philip J., Twice Condemned: Slaves and the Criminal Laws of Virginia, 1705–1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988).

For the south outside the Chesapeake see Brown, Richard Maxwell, The South Carolina Regulators (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963); Butterfield, Fox, All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence (New York: Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 1995); Ekirch, Roger, ‘Poor Carolina’: Politics and Society in Colonial North Carolina, 1729–1776 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981); Spindel, Crime and Society; and Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).

For New England see Dayton, Cornelia Hughes, Women before the Bar: Gender, Law, and Society in Connecticut, 1639–1789 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995); Cave, Alfred A., The Pequot War (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996); Nelson, William E., Dispute and Conflict Resolution in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1725–1825 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981); Konig, David Thomas, Law and Society in Puritan Massachusetts: Essex County, 1629–1692 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979); Hoerder, Dirk, Crowd Action in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 1765–1780 (New York: Academic Press, 1977); McManus, Edgar J., Law and Liberty in Early New England: Criminal Justice and Due Process, 1620–1692 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993); Richards, Leonard L., Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002); Karlsen, Carol F., The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (New York: W. W. Norton, 1987); Bourne, Russell, The Red King’s Rebellion: Racial Politics in New England, 1675–1678 (New York: Atheneum, 1990); Drake, James D., King Philip’s War: Civil War in New England, 1675–1676 (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999); Lepore, Jill, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998); Philbrick, Nathaniel, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (New York: Viking, 2006); and Salisbury, Neal, Manitou and Providence: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of New England, 1500–1643 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).

For Pennsylvania and the Middle Colonies see Marietta and Rowe, Troubled Experiment; Bouton, Terry, Taming Democracy: ‘The People’, the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); Fox, Francis S., Sweet Land of Liberty: The Ordeal of the American Revolution in Northampton County, Pennsylvania (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000); Frantz, John B. and Pencak, William, Beyond Philadelphia: the American Revolution in the Pennsylvania Hinterland, ed. Frantz, John B. (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998); Greenberg, Douglas, Crime and Law Enforcement in the Colony of New York, 1691–1776 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1976); Griffin, Patrick, The People with No Name: Ireland’s Ulster Scots, America’s Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689–1764 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001); Knouff, Gregory T., The Soldiers’ Revolution: Pennsylvanians in Arms and the Forging of Early American Identity (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004); Merritt, Jane T., At the Crossroads: Indians and Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700–1763 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003); Pencak, William A. and Richter, Daniel K., Friends and Enemies in Penn’s Woods: Indians, Colonists, and the Racial Construction of Pennsylvania (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2004); Salinger, Sharon V., ‘To Serve Well and Faithfully’: Labour and Indentured Servants in Pennsylvania, 1682–1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); and Slaughter, Thomas P., The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

Bibliographic Essay

The scholarship on medieval and early modern justice is vast. This bibliography can only highlight a handful of important works that were particularly useful in the preparation of this chapter. On torture, the law of proofs and the use of evidence, see Peters, Edward, Torture (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1985); Langbein, John H., Torture and the Law of Proof: Europe and England in the Ancien Régime (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977); Durand, Bernard and Otis-Cour, Leah (eds.), La torture judiciaire, 2 vols. (Lille: Centre d’histoire judiciaire, 2002); Fraher, Richard M., ‘Conviction According to Conscience: The Medieval Jurists’ Debate concerning Judicial Discretion and the Law of Proof’, Law and History Review 7.1 (1989), 2388; Wenzel, Eric, La torture judiciaire dans la France de l’Ancien Régime (Dijon: Éditions universitaires de Dijon, 2011); Clark, Michael and Crawford, Catherine (eds.), Legal Medicine in History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); and Blank, Andreas, ‘Presumption, Torture and the Controversy over Excepted Crimes’, Intellectual History Review 22.2 (2012), 131–45.

For capital punishment, see Spierenburg, Pieter, The Spectacle of Suffering: Executions and the Evolution of Repression (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); van Dülmen, Richard, Theatre of Horror: Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1990); Bastien, Pascal, L’exécution publique à Paris au XVIIIe siècle (Seyssel: Champ Vallon, 2006); Friedland, Paul, Seeing Justice Done: The Age of Spectacular Capital Punishment in France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); Terpstra (ed.), Nicholas, The Art of Executing Well: Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2008); and Baker, Nicolas, ‘For Reasons of State: Political Executions, Republicanism, and the Medici in Florence, 1480–1560’, Renaissance Quarterly 62.2 (2009), 444–78.

For works on European justice to 1400 see Bartlett, Robert, Trials by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986); Smail, Daniel, The Consumption of Justice: Emotions, Publicity, and Legal Culture in Marseille, 1264–1423 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003); Ruggiero, Guido, Violence in Early Renaissance Venice (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1980); Geltner, Guy, The Medieval Prison (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008); Dean, Trevor, Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Stern, Laura, The Criminal Law System of Medieval and Renaissance Florence (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994); Blanshei, Sarah, Politics and Justice in Late Medieval Bologna (Leiden: Brill, 2010); and Vitiello, Joanna Carraway, Public Justice and the Criminal Trial in Late Medieval Italy: Emilia in the Visconti Age (Leiden: Brill, 2016).

Regarding the inquisitions see Given, James, Inquisition and Medieval Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997); Kamen, Henry, The Spanish Inquisition: An Historical Revision (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998); Black, Christopher F., The Italian Inquisition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009); Monter, E. William, Frontiers of Heresy: The Spanish Inquisition from the Basque Lands to Sicily (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); and Ginzburg, Carlo, The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980).

On the spiritual significance of pain and its relationship to criminal justice see Cohen, Esther, The Modulated Scream: Pain in Late Medieval Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010); Mills, Robert, Suspended Animation: Pain, Pleasure and Punishment in Medieval Culture (London: Reaktion, 2005); Merback, Mitchell, The Thief, the Cross and the Wheel (London: Reaktion, 1999); Rittgers, Ronald, The Reformation of Suffering: Pastoral Theology and Lay Piety in Late Medieval and Early Modern Germany (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Egmond, Florike and Zwijnenberg, Robert (eds.), Bodily Extremities: Preoccupations with the Human Body in Early European Culture (Farnham: Ashgate, 2003); Silverman, Lisa, Tortured Subjects: Pain, Truth and the Body in Early Modern France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001); and Gregory, Brad, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

Key scholarship on criminal justice between 1400 and 1800 includes Brackett, J. K., Criminal Justice and Crime in Late Renaissance Florence, 1537–1609 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992); Cohen, Thomas and Cohen, Elizabeth Storr, Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome: Trials before the Papal Magistrates (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993); Fosi, Irene, Papal Justice (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2011); Shaw, James, The Justice of Venice: Authorities and Liberties in the Urban Economy, 1550–1700 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Gauvard, Claude, ‘De grâce especial’: crime, Etat et société en France à la fin du moyen âge, 2 vols. (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1991); Davis, Natalie Zemon, Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales and Their Tellers in Sixteenth-Century France (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987); Andrews, Richard, Law, Magistracy and Crime in Old Regime Paris, 1735–1789, vol. i (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Schnapper, Bernard, ‘La repression pénale au XVIème siècle. L’exemple du Parlement de Bordeaux’, in Voies nouvelles en histoire du droit (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1991), pp. 53105; Schnapper, Bernard, ‘La justice criminelle rendue par le Parlement de Paris sous le règne de François Ier’, Revue Historique du Droit Français et Étranger 52 (1974), 252–84; Claustre, Julie, Dans les geôles du Roi (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2007); Garnot, Benoît and Fry, Rosine (eds.), Infrajudiciaire (Dijon: Publication de l’Université de Bourgogne, 1996); Brown, Keith, Bloodfeud in Scotland, 1573–1625 (Edinburgh: J. Donald, 1986); Spierenburg, Pieter, The Prison Experience: Disciplinary Institutions and Their Initiates in Early Modern Europe (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1991); Porret, Michel, Le crime et ses circonstances (Geneva: Droz, 1995); Po-chia Hsia, R., The Myth of Ritual Murder: Jews and Magic in Reformation Germany (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988); Blauert, Andreas and Schwerhoff, Gerd, Mit den Waffen der Justiz: zur Kriminalitätsgeschichte des Spätmittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenburch Verlag, 1993); Harrington, Joel F., The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013); Rublack, Ulinka, The Crimes of Women in Early Modern Germany (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999); Jütte, Robert, Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); and Ruff, Julius, Violence in Early Modern Europe, 1500–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

For the violent prosecution of sin and witchcraft see Ruggiero, Guido, The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985); Loetz, Francisca, Dealings with God: From Blasphemers in Early Modern Zurich to a Cultural History of Religiousness (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009); Betteridge, Tom (ed.), Sodomy in Early Modern Europe (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002); Hull, Isabel, Sexuality, State and Civil Society in Germany, 1700–1815 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996); Barahona, Renato, Sex Crimes, Honour, and the Law in Early Modern Spain (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003); Watt, Jeffrey (ed.), From Sin to Insanity: Suicide in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004); Midelfort, H. C. F., Witch-Hunting in Southwestern Germany, 1562–1684 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972); Stokes, Laura, Demons of Urban Reform: Early European Witch Trials and Criminal Justice, 1430–1530 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Henningsen, Gustav, The Witches’ Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1980); and Roper, Lyndal, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004).

Bibliographic Essay

A useful essay covering variations in violence across different regions and time periods is Gabbert, Wolfgang, ‘The longue durée of Colonial Violence in Latin America’, Historical Social Research 37.3 (2012), 254–75. Gabbert discusses violence during the conquest period, for example, and at moments of protest and contestation, showing how violence played a role in shaping colonialism.

Relevant works relating more specifically to conquest era violence in the Caribbean and Mexico include Abulafia, David, The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008); Altman, Ida, The War for Mexico’s West: Indians and Spaniards in New Galicia, 1524–1550 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010); and Restall, Matthew, When Montezuma Met Cortés: The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History (New York: Ecco/Harper Collins, 2018). For an overview of the historiography of conquest studies, see Restall, Matthew, ‘The New Conquest History’, History Compass 10.2 (2012), 151–60.

Among the many works including primary source accounts of conquest violence are Lane, Kris (ed.) and Johnson, Timothy F. (trans.), Defending the Conquest: Bernardo de Vargas Marchuca’s ‘Defense and Discourse of the Western Conquests’ (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010); Restall, Matthew and Asselbergs, Florine, Invading Guatemala: Spanish, Nahua, and Maya Accounts of the Conquest Wars (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007); and Whitehead, Neil L., Of Cannibals and Kings: Primal Anthropology in the Americas (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011).

Studies of the Spanish Inquisition in the New World include IVChuchiak, John F., The Inquisition in New Spain, 1571–1820: A Documentary History (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012); Clendinnen, Inga, Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517–1570, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); and Silverblatt, Irene, Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). For an example of a primary source describing the violence of the Spiritual Conquest, see Restall, Matthew et al., The Friar and the Maya: Diego de Landa’s Account of the Things of Yucatan (Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, in press).

For violence relating to African slavery, see Lohse, Russell, Africans into Creoles: Slavery, Ethnicity, and Identity in Costa Rica (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2014); Martínez, María Elena, ‘The Black Blood of New Spain: Limpieza de Sangre, Racial Violence, and Gendered Power in Early Colonial Mexico’, William and Mary Quarterly 61.3 (2004), 479520; IIIProctor, Frank T., ‘Damned Notions of Liberty’: Slavery, Culture, and Power in Colonial Mexico, 1640–1769 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010); and Sweet, James, Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World 1441–1770 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

For studies on indigenous slavery see van Deusen, Nancy E., Global Indios: The Indigenous Struggle for Justice in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015); Reséndez, Andrés, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016); and Gallay, Alan, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670–1717 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002). For more information on genocidal rhetoric and indigenous removal, see Madley, Benjamin, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016); Weber, David J., Bárbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005); and Woolford, Andrew, Benvenuto, Jeff and Hinton, Alexander Laban (eds.), Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014).

For scholarship that addresses questions of violence against women and the role of gender in violent encounters in Colonial Latin America, see von Germeten, Nicole, Violent Delights, Violent Ends: Sex, Race, and Honor in Colonial Cartagena de Indias (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013); Johnson, Lyman L. and Lipsett-Rivera, Sonya (eds.), Faces of Honor: Sex, Shame, and Violence in Colonial Latin America (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998); and Stern, Steve, The Secret History of Gender: Men, Women, and Power in Late Colonial Mexico (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). For an article-length primary source, with introductory study, on the topic see Abercrombie, Thomas A., ‘Affairs in the Courtroom: Fernando de Medica Confessed to Killing His Wife’, in Boyer, Richard and Spurling, Geoffrey (eds.), Colonial Lives: Documents on Latin American History, 1550–1850 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

For more on violence used to suppress revolt, see Frederick, Jason, Riot! (Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2016); Patch, Robert W., Maya Revolt and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2002); Schroeder, Susan (ed.), Native Resistance and the Pax Colonial in New Spain (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998); and Walker, Charles F., The Tupac Amaru Rebellion (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014).

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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats